PLAYLIST: The Baker’s Dozen – The Golden Age of Female Songwriters
by Michael Carlos
Welcome to another installment of The Baker’s Dozen, a feature in which I will deliver a playlist of some of the things I’ve been listening to lately and tell you why.
This week’s theme is inspired by how much I’ve been listening to Kacey Musgraves lately. You can check out my review of her debut album, Same Trailer Different Park, here. I realized that I’ve been listening to more and more songs written and performed by female vocalists. Maybe it’s because I’m maturing, but that’s doubtful. Instead, I think that maybe we’re experiencing some sort of golden age for female songwriters, hence the title of the playlist. But what the hell do I know?
Without further ado, check out this week’s edition of The Baker’s Dozen, hot and fresh out the kitchen:
1. Kacey Musgraves – “Silver Lining”
Because she’s the inspiration for the playlist. Haven’t you been paying any attention? Her picture’s at the top of the page, for Pete’s sake. But seriously, this song is the perfect thing to listen to on a lazy Sunday.
2. ZZ Ward – “Move Like U Stole It”
Because of the line, “I want you in my bed in a minute flat, let’s hit the backseat of your cherry Cadillac.” I think I’m in love.
3. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – “Medicine”
Because she belts it out better than any rock and roll singer since Janis Joplin. And her band kicks some serious ass.
4. Alabama Shakes – “Hold On”
Because their frontwoman, Brittany Howard, delivers passionate, soulful vocals and plays a pretty mean guitar to boot. And their debut album sounds like something that Stax put out in the late ’60s.
5. Gin Wigmore – “Black Sheep”
Because she’s from New Zealand and people in the United States have heard of her. She’s got to be doing something right. Also, that explains the sheep metaphor.
6. Elle King – “Playing For Keeps”
Because this song portends bigger things to come than just being the theme song to Mob Wives Chicago. She also does a killer version of Khia’s “My Neck, My Back.”
7. Adele – “I’ll Be Waiting”
Because everyone and their mom (especially their moms, actually) were listening to Adele last year, and for good reason. This is my favorite song off of 21, even if the other singles were much more popular. Listen to those horns!
8. Delta Rae – “If I Loved You”
Because this also makes great use of horns and Brittany Holljes’ vocals send shivers down my spine. Plus, it’s always good to have two Brittanys on your list, just to be safe. [UPDATE 4/21/13: Commenter willp brought it to my attention that the lead vocals on this song are actually handled by Delta Rae’s other female vocalist, Liz Hopkins. Whoops! Thanks for the correction, willp.]
9. Sharon Van Etten – “Serpents”
Because you have to have at least one dark song on the playlist. Fair warning, this one’s a bit of a downer, but it’s powerful.
10. Heartless Bastards – “Low Low Low”
Because, if that’s not the best band name ever, I don’t know what is. Also, this song is a great way to unwind from a long day.
11. Norah Jones – “Say Goodbye”
Because she’s been around much longer than anybody else on this list and she has still managed to keep it fresh. This track is off her last studio album, Little Broken Hearts, which was produced by Danger Mouse.
12. honeyhoney – “Ohio”
Because it might start off a bit slow, but trust me, this one’s a barnburner. Just let it build, you can never have too many songs about Ohio.
13. Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers – “Forever Young”
Because everybody should have to cover a Bob Dylan song at some point in their career, and few have pulled it off as well as Audra Mae. This song was featured in the penultimate episode of Sons of Anarchy‘s first season. Best TV show about a motorcycle gang ever, but there’s not much competition.
Until next time, keep it hot and fresh.